#1
Just wondering what are the different kind of pickups and how do they effect your bass? ive heard names such as Humbuckers and Single Coil but tbh i have no idea what the diff. is and what are decent pickups to have. Do they make a real difference to the sound aswell?

Thanks
#3
Wikipedia is your friend!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_guitar

Quote by Wikipedia
Pickups

For more information on pickups, see Pickup (music).

The vibrations of the instrument's metal strings within the magnetic field of the permanent magnets in the pickups, produce small variations in the magnetic flux threading the coils of the pickups. This in turn produces small electrical voltages in the coils. These low-level signals are then amplified and played through a speaker. Less commonly, non-magnetic pickups are used, such as piezoelectric pickups which sense the mechanical vibrations of the strings. Since the 1990s, basses are often available with battery-powered "active" electronics that boost the signal and/or provide equalization controls to boost or cut bass and treble frequencies.
"P"-style split pickups
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"P"-style split pickups
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Bass pickup types

* "P-" pickups (the "P" refers to the original Fender Precision Bass) are actually two distinct single-coil halves, wired in opposite direction to reduce hum, each offset a small amount along the length of the body so that each half is underneath two strings.
* "J-" pickups (referring to the original Fender Jazz Bass) are wider eight-pole pickups which lie underneath all four strings. J pickups are typically single-coil designs, but some modern variants have hum-canceling features.
* Soapbar pickups, found in MusicMan basses (yet another Leo Fender brand) and many other brands, are the same length as a J pickup, but about twice as wide. They typically follow a dual-coil humbucking configuration. The name comes from the rectangular shape resembling a bar of soap.

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Pickup configuration
Dual "J"-Style Pickups.
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Dual "J"-Style Pickups.

* Many basses have just one pickup, typically a "P" or soapbar pickup. Multiple pickups are also quite common, two of the most common configurations being a "P" near the neck and a "J" near the bridge (e.g. Fender Precision Deluxe), or two "J" pickups (e.g. Fender Jazz). Some basses use more unusual pickup configurations, such as a soapbar and a "P" pickup (found on some Fenders), Stu Hamm's "Urge" basses which have a "P" pickup sandwiched between two "J" pickups, and some of Bootsy Collins' custom basses, which had as many as 5 J pickups.

* The placement of the pickup greatly affects the sound, with a pickup near the neck joint thought to sound "fatter" or "warmer" while a pickup near the bridge is thought to sound "tighter" or "sharper." Most basses with multiple pickups allow blending of the output from the pickups, providing for a range of timbres.

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Non-magnetic pickups

* Piezoelectric pickups are non-magnetic pickups that produce a different tone and allow bassists to use non-metallic strings such as nylon strings. Piezoelectric pickups sense the vibrations of the string, as transmitted to the pickup through the basses' wooden body. Since piezoelectric pickups are based on the vibration of the strings and body, they can be prone to feedback "howls" when used with an amplifier, especially when higher levels of amplification are used.
* Optical pickups such as Lightwave Systems pickups are another type of non-magnetic pickup. Optical pickups are expensive and rarely used, apart from a small number of professional bass players who require the advantages offered by optical pickups: no noise (e.g., hum) or feedback problems, even at high levels of amplification.